Andre Allen and Karen Wilson are the newest members of the City Council’s Police and Community relations committee. City Manager Patrick Urich says the committee was started about 10 years ago as a way to build relationships between the Police and the people that live in the neighborhoods they patrol.
After multiple acts of violence last week and the 13th homicide of 2019, Peoria City Council added two fresh faces to their Police and Community relations committee. The council voted to approve Andre Allen and Karen Wilson. The duo was nominated by Mayor Jim Ardis. Wilson works with the Peoria chapter of the NAACP and Allen recently ran for city council in the spring.
Allen tells us he is looking to build positive relationships between police and neighborhoods. He says those relationships are strained and need rebuilt.
Many of the recent homicides in Peoria remain unsolved. Peoria police have said numerous times they believe there is information out there, but the community is unwilling to talk. Allen says, as an African American man he understands the public reluctance. “A positive relationship between law enforcement and the community is needed moving forward. Especially lately here in Peoria with incidents that have not gone well as far as mending the relationship,” explained Allen.
City Manager Patrick Urich says the committee typically has around 12 members but they are always open to adding more. There is a form on the City website if you would like to get involved with the committee and help build stronger relations between police and the community.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, City Council agreed to apply for a grant to give the downtown portion of Main Street a much-needed makeover. The Build 2019 grant would come from the US Department of Transportation and would cover 80% of the project to improve Main Street between Washington St. and Farmington Rd.
“We have two of the largest employers in Peoria on either end of Main St. with OSF headquartered downtown and Bradley on the other side,” Urich says, “Its a very important project.”
The city manager adds that they won’t find out if they are selected for the grant for another couple months. He says they hope the remaining 20% of the funding for the project could be covered by the state from the capitol spending bill just signed by Gov. JB Pritzker.